lifter noise under load

Discussion in 'Street/strip 400/430/455' started by Al Pixton, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. christy staunto

    christy staunto Well-Known Member

    I know noise from roller rockers are a issue,but i think that is only with the Eddy heads
     
  2. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Perceived lifter noise is a subjective thing. Some noise is normal IMO with a moderate cam and aluminum heads. How much is too much, that is the question. Lifter choice is definitely a factor. Some lifters are noisier than others.

    Al, you need a way to adjust preload. Adjustable push rods are the cheapest way to accomplish this. If you have valve train noise, the first thing to check is lifter preload.
     
  3. Al Pixton

    Al Pixton Active Member

    Yes Larry more pre-load is my next step. I do have a set of adj. push rods (3/8"). They where in the engine before and went to fixed length 5/16 per t/a performance's recommendation. They thought the larger diameter push rods were rubbing on passage in head and contributing to noise.
     
  4. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise GOT AIR?

    Hi Al,
    Been down this road before, but not so much with that particular cam grind.. Some cams are simply noisy at cruising rpm. Not much you can do about it. What your up against is the bleed down rate of particular lifters, vs the cam profile. Lifters bleeding faster than others will be the noisy ones.

    Best you can do is try and isolate the offending lifters, and change them out.

    Good luck

    JW
     
  5. Al Pixton

    Al Pixton Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Jim, so your experience with this cam is it's relatively quiet? Also any tips on how to isolate the offending lifters? Also could there be debris in the lifters from start up?
     
  6. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise GOT AIR?

    2 things for ID'ing the noisy lifter

    1. With the engine fully warmed up, hold the rpm where it makes the most noise, and listen with a stethoscope to isolate the area to one or two lifters.
    2. remove the valve cover, and use the starter to roll the engine over until it is on the cam lobe at max lift, on the suspected lifter.. 9 times out of 10 you will see that lifter collapses under the normal valve spring load, at a faster rate that normal... normally you should not be able to see the lifters collapsing in this type of situation, the vavetrain should appear motionless.

    Sure, any kind of contamination can cause this. Once you isolate the noisy bleeding lifter, the first step is to take it apart and clean it.. do this over a white paper towel, to see how much debris was in it.. if it's a lot, clean it, and then see if you can find a machine shop that has an old time lifter leakdown tester.. and test the leakdown rate of that lifter. If it's good, then it was the dirt, if it still fails, then it's a plunger/body sizing or machining issue.

    Generally speaking, on a good new motor start up, the trash will not find it's way back to the lifters, as it has to run thru the filter before it makes it there.

    There is no mystery here.. and no one should be replacing lifters "just because your there".. you don't know if the lifter you put in is any better than the one you took out, and every time you introduce a new lifter to a cam, you risk lobe failure.

    This is not a "black art", in that it's purely scientific.. noisy lifter are that way because they have insufficient oil in them to keep the lash out of the valvetrain, and it's up to you to figure out why.

    JW
     
  7. Al Pixton

    Al Pixton Active Member

    Thanks Jim for the professional tips on isolating this issue. My next question was answered in your post... if I can just open up and clean the suspect lifters since they are already "married"to the cam lobe.

    Thanks, Al
     
  8. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    I NEVER install new lifters WITHOUT taking them apart 1st. & cleaning them out. You wouldn't believe how much crap is in them from the building process. A couple hours now saves MANY later.
     
  9. Al Pixton

    Al Pixton Active Member

    Tom...never even considered cleaning brand new lifters, this is good to know, hopefully it's just a issue with junk in the lifter.
     
  10. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    IF there WAS junk in the lifter from the manufacturing process & it was run it's NOW N/G as the grit destroys the internal clearances.
     
  11. Schurkey

    Schurkey Silver Level contributor

    Some camshafts simply have a too-fast closing ramp, the "lifters" will be noisy and there's nothing you can do because the real noise is the valve smacking the seat. The noise is "ground into" the camshaft. Harold Brookshire (of Ultradyne camshaft fame, and also responsible for most of the Lunati Voodoo series, among others) spoke of this. He said that "his" camshaft grinds always had sufficient closing ramps to prevent this noise.

    I don't know if this cam is one of those.

    Potentially true. The oil passage "into" a lifter is relatively large, the outlet is microscopically tiny. The lifter plunger-to-body clearance is so tight that some grit simply cannot get between them to create wear or scoring. Hydraulic lifters are in effect miniature oil filters, which is why they collect "dirt" in-use to begin with. Manufacturing debris is another matter--what ever is in them from the manufacturing process will be in them until they're taken apart, 'cause that stuff is NOT getting out on it's own.

    Pull 'em apart ONE AT A TIME because the plunger is select-fit to the lifter body and you don't want to mix them up from one lifter to another. See what the internals look like--smooth or scored. You also need to examine your own "risk tolerance"; because measuring equipment precise enough to actually determine lifter clearance does not exist at the D-I-Y level, and not even at the automotive machine-shop level. The best you can hope for is that they pass functional testing--either in the engine or on a test-bench. A test-bench wouldn't be hard to make; GM (and no doubt Ford and Chrysler and AMC as well) had "special tools" for performing leakdown testing which would not be difficult to copy.

    The last lifters I pulled apart for cleaning had so much crap in them it made me sick to see it all. Once clean, they looked fine--but I haven't fired the engine they went into, so I don't know how successful I really was.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  12. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    The Chassis Manuals show this Lifter Leakdown Tester with instructions on how to use it. Probably what JW was referring to.

    LifterLeakDownTester.JPG
     
  13. Al Pixton

    Al Pixton Active Member

    1. With the engine fully warmed up, hold the rpm where it makes the most noise, and listen with a stethoscope to isolate the area to one or two lifters.
    2. remove the valve cover, and use the starter to roll the engine over until it is on the cam lobe at max lift, on the suspected lifter.. 9 times out of 10 you will see that lifter collapses under the normal valve spring load, at a faster rate that normal... normally you should not be able to see the lifters collapsing in this type of situation, the valve train should appear motionless.
    Hello Larry, and Shurkey, thanks for the replies, I did this procedure outlined above that was posted by Jim Weiss, and every rocker on the drivers side of engine (have not checked passenger side) when rotated to open went to almost fully closed in a matter of seconds. All lifters collapsed under valve spring pressure, the valve train was by no means motionless as stated by Jim above.
    Hopefully Jim can chime in on this because I don't know what to do next.
     
  14. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Seems to me that it is very unlikely that ALL the driver's side lifters are bad. It is more likely that the oil delivery to the driver's side lifter galley is not sufficient, and that says front cam bearing problem since that is how the oil gets to the driver's side.

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  15. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Who put the cam bearings in?
     
  16. Al Pixton

    Al Pixton Active Member

    Larry this is what posted to Bluzilla's post....Engine has t/a dual groove cam bearings, plus a small channel cut in top of first cam journal connecting both oil galleys ( done many years ago )
     
  17. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Yes Al, I quoted you, I know that. I'm saying despite that fact, I think something is wrong with that cam bearing. That's more likely than every lifter on the driver's side being defective. If you run the engine with the valve covers off, does it look like the valve train is oiling?
     
  18. Al Pixton

    Al Pixton Active Member

    Yes Larry the valve train is getting oil at idle, not making a mess like some s.b.c,s I have worked on in the past but oil is getting to the rockers, but not squirting all over the inner fender.
     
  19. Schurkey

    Schurkey Silver Level contributor

    If you have "fast-bleed" lifters such as Rhodes, you're going to have noise and rapid loss of plunger height as seen in your testing.

    If you have "normal" hydraulic lifters...you need to remove them. They either need cleaning (internal check valve jammed open with grit) or they're just plain defective and needing replacement.
     
    johnriv67 likes this.
  20. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

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